04 Apr 2018
April 4, 2018

Dresses for Every Figure

Any body type is beautiful, all you need is to choose the right styles for your figure! Wearing flattering dresses for your body type instantly highlights all of the places you want to show off while masking any areas you’d like to keep a secret. The key to being effortlessly stunning in your 40s and beyond is simply to dress for your shape. Here is your definitive guide to picking the perfect dress for your body shape.

The Carlisle and ETCETERA spring and summer collections are full of dresses for every shape.

Hourglass/Curvy Figure

If your hips and bust measurements are roughly the same, and you have a narrow waist, then this fits your description. The key to dressing an hourglass shape is to accentuate the waist. Embrace your curves and celebrate your waist with styles that flatter your figure. Belted dresses and wrap dresses are the curvy woman’s best friends. Any style that cinches at the waist is a great choice to highlight your curvy silhouette. Fit and flare dresses were also made for you! When in doubt, an empire-waist is a good choice for your curvy shape. Don’t be afraid of fitted styles! Structured, tailored styles that hug your figure will show off your curves. Pencil skirts are a classic look for the curvy woman. When it comes to sleeve lengths, elbow length sleeves are best for you, because they draw attention to your waist. Any and all hemlines suit you, so choose the one that makes you feel most beautiful. your shape is very balanced, so as long as you draw attention to your waist, you will always look very well put together.

ETCETERA ROMP Style #215864

Update your summer wardrobe with the season’s most comfortable romper. A soft, drapey striped style, it has a long, detachable skirt you might add on for evening wear. We’re suggesting you put these pieces together for that perfect “dress” for your perfect curvey shape.


Knit gored dress in a brilliant tropical print with mesh inset neck, Ottoman rib details, and a banded jacquard empire waist.

CARLISLE BLOOM Style #115591

This classic dress has a floral bloom print that brings the romance. A full pleated skirt with 3 deep box pleats from hips to hem and a feminine jewel neck adds to the sophisticated look. Notice the placement of the bloom print and how it beautifully accentuates the waist.

Triangle Figure

This is also known as the pear shape, but for the sake of women everywhere, we are going to move away from those fruit labels! This body shape features narrower shoulders and bust. If your waist is wider than your bust and you have full hips, then this is your figure shape. To dress for your figure, try highlighting your neckline, shoulders, and waist! Draw attention upwards to elongate your figure. Dresses with V-neck and scoop necklines look great on you! You have tons of options: Try dresses with dramatic sleeves, backless options, fancy necklines, and belted dresses. Also, try A-line dresses, they will make your hips and thighs look trim while emphasizing your upper body.


With chic bell sleeves, this sweater dress is ideal for work or date night.


Add a touch of refreshing tropical green to any occasion. Our shift is a rich abstract jacquard, with flattering seams and angled pockets.


Pointelle accents, a touch of lacing, and a chic fit and flare silhouette all help this sophisticated dress stand out on your beautiful figure.

Inverted Triangle Figure

Your shape is well-proportioned with shoulders that are wider than your hips and your waist is less defined. Find dresses that don’t showcase the waist. For example, flowy dresses are perfect for your shape. Sheath and shift dresses look great on you. If you like strapless looks, then you’re in luck because you can wear strapless looks and be flawless. As far as hemlines, knee-length is your best bet. Choose dresses in dark colors and diagonal stripes, they are most flattering for you.

ETCETERA DECK Style #215548

With a 60’s retro inspiration, this sheath dress will add a flirty touch to any occasion.



Polished and perfect, this stretch double crepe sheath dress sports peekaboo details for a twist on a classic sheath dress.

Athletic Figure

You may have been referring to it as “boyish frame” but again, let’s not do that ladies! Your figure is strong! Your shoulder and hip measurements are similar, and you have a less defined waistline. Your weight is very evenly distributed throughout your body. Dresses for you include strapless styles, halters, and scoop-necklines. You can choose to play up any part of your body: if you love your legs, then shorter dresses and skirts can work for you, if you love your bust, then choose strapless or plunging necklines. You can choose to accentuate your waist with belted styles or A-line dresses.


Take a vibrant approach in this must-have classic dress in satin back silk marocain. The deep V-neck detail adds feminine appeal, flattering the silhouette.

ETCETERA INEZ Style #215909

Elegant evenings begin with the right dress and the right dress for your figure. This fit and flare style has rich jacquard texture and a luxurious metallic sheen that elevates the mood. Those with a curvey figure are going to love INEZ, too.

ETCETERA OAHU Style #215881

The satin maxi dress will dominate summer with its mesmerizing paisley print in tropical colors and the unique contrast border.

Short Stature Figure

If you are under 5’4″ choose the shape that describes you best from above. Here are a few tips for what kind of dresses to choose: Monochrome looks, meaning one or two colors are great for your shorter frame. Don’t wear a lot of layers; they will look bulky on a tiny figure. Dresses with vertical stripes create the illusion of a taller figure.


Sleek, chic, and utterly perfect, this solid crepe sheath dress is an ultimate classic.


Bias stripes are a defining theme with contrasting diagonal patterns through the middle that make the profile look fabulous. A soft stretch cotton blend ensures daylong comfort and an attractive fit.




A pure cotton sheath dress in a slimming black and white pattern is a smart option for summer wear.

While this is just a guide and these are just a sampling of the many dresses available in both collections, you may want to get in touch with your Personal Stylist to determine your body shape and the dress style perfect for your figure. Don’t shop alone, call us, that’s why we’re here … to make creating and building a wardrobe effortless!

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our Carlisle Spring/Summer Trunk Show coming up from April 18 – April 30. Mark your calendar for ETCETERA Spring/Summer – May 4 through May 14.